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Sunday, 7 October 2018

BABYLONIAN HISTORICITY, RELIGOSITY RESEARCH WHILE READING "THE SEVENTH SCROLL BY WILBUR SMITH"

BABYLONIAN HISTORICITY, RELIGIOSITY RESEARCH WHILE READING “THE SEVENTH SCROLL BY WILBUR SMITH”

When I took the book “The Seventh Scroll” by Wilbur Smith for reading, it was mainly because I had read other Wilbur Smith books and liked them, but also because this book was about a Egyptian King. Egypt as a Babylonian country is fascinating and very important research subject if we are to know the origins of the culture and civilisation of the world.
Like other Wilbur Smith novels, the book is set in Africa but it differs. Most people do not know this but the Northern belt of countries in Africa, along the Mediterranean coast- Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania were formed as Nations by the Babylonians, who migrated into Africa along the Mediterranean coast between 400,000 to 800,000 years ago. Thus, Egypt though geographically located in Africa, is a Babylonian nation. This interested me the most when I started reading the book. To give further information, the present day Egypt is only the North half of the full Babylonian Egypt, the South Egypt which extended all the way to Khartoum in Sudan where the two tributaries of Nile meet each other has been incorporated in present day Sudan. This was mainly because as the population of Human Africans in Africa increased they kept pushing into South Egypt. Many wars have been fought in South Egypt over the past 100, 000 years between the Human Babylonians and Human Africans. When the Babylonians had migrated to Africa, even the South Egypt portion was uninhabited. 
Now, coming to the story which is also set in Ethiopia and Sudan, both of which are typical African countries inhabited by Human Africans. But there is a difference between the two countries. Though White Nile tributary of Nile passes through Sudan but the Blue Nile tributary originates in the Ethiopian highlands which account for nearly 90% of its water and sediments, though both these tributaries meet near Khartoum in Sudan. But, more than 400,000 years ago when the babylonians started excavating the Nile, there was no population in Sudan but Human Africans were present in Ethiopian highlands near the origin of the Blue Nile. These were the first Human Africans the Babylonians came into contact with. Thus the Human Africans in Ethiopia were the first Africans, the Babylonians tutored into some sort of culture. Thus Ethiopians became the first cultured Africans and Ethiopia the first African nation. This must have happened more than 100,000 years ago.
But ‘the seventh scroll’ is set only 4000 years ago and there are references in the book as to the culture of the Ethiopians. 
The above also underlies the fact the story revolves between fact and fiction. This is what I was exactly anticipating when I started reading it. As the story unfolded, it was confirmed again and again throughout the story.
Wilbur Smith has done meticulous research in writing this book and this book is probably the closest he has got to historical facts. This I found very fascinating.
The story starts in Egypt with archaeologist couple Durand Al Simmu and his wife Royan. They have come across a document titled “The Seventh Scroll” during their excavation of the tomb of Queen Lostris.
There are others who come to know of the seventh scroll and the hidden message it contains to the tomb of Pharaoh Mamose, given by his slave servant Taita. The others go after the couple and make Royan a widow.
Now, this widow Royan is no ordinary woman, she is a Coptic Christian. This again gives clues to the history of Egypt because for at least 1800 to 1500 years of the last 2000 years, the history of Egypt is the same as the history of Coptic Christians. Egypt was almost predominantly Coptic Christian until about 500 years back when they were forced to convert to Islam by their Arab rulers. Thus, even today the Coptic christians make less than 20 % of Egyptian population, the pure breed Human Babylonians constitute 75% of the Egyptian population. The Arabs (non Babylonians) constitute 5%, The Human Africans constitute 10% and about 10% are of mixed origin. Of these mixed 10% population, many are due to forced marriage and some because they forgot their ethnicity or species.
But in reality ethnicity has a different concept here . Babylonians are a different species of humans-Human Babylonian or Human Mesopotamian. The Africans are also a different species of humans-Human Africans. The Arabs (in the historical sense before the advent of Islam) are the Human Africans who migrated from Africa into the Continent of Mesopotamia (what many know as the Arabian Peninsula) and hence are Human Africans. The, when people talk about race or racial differences, it is not race, it is species and species differences.
In general different human species are not compatible with each other and this leads to racial differences which in reality are ‘species differences’. The mixed species population is unstable and over a period of time leads to the destruction of culture and civilisation.
In the course of the book we see that different people are looking for the tomb of Pharaoh Mamose for different reasons, the Human Babylonians represented by the Egyptian Archaeology Museum for enhancing their collection and knowledge about their past. The mixed British-Egyptian woman Royan is looking to find the truth and glory of Egypt, the British Archaeologist Nicolas Quentin-Harper who represents Human West European is looking for money and adventure, the German collector Von Schiller also representing Human West European is looking for his legacy, glory and a very perverted sense of sexual gratification. Then there are the Human Africans, some good some bad, who get interested in the tomb either for money or as a bargaining tool.
Thus, the story represents three species of humans ( there are 7 human species)- Human Mesopotamian or Human Babylonian, Human African, and Human West European, all looking to dig the tomb of Pharaoh Mamose after 4000 years he was put to rest in his grave. While I was reading the story, some pranks of humour and laughter hit me from time to time. There is a subtle humour in the story. That so many people should stake their lives to dig out a tomb of a king buried 4000 years ago filled me with both awe and revulsion. The good side is that some of these people wanted to dig for archaeological and historical reasons. But again there is a moral dilemma in this. Even as they say say that their reasons are good, it escapes logic and common sense as to why they should disturb the tomb of a person, even a King, 4000 years after his burial. Why not let them remain in peace? But I believe that humans do not value peace, certainly not the peace of others, certainly not when they are gaining treasure and fame by disturbing the peace of a dead King.
All this went through my mind as I was reading the book. I realised the weakness of human nature and character and their crookedness. Though a sense of strength and courage is also conveyed by some of their actions and events. But still I cannot fathom why buried tombs have to be dug out. Curiosity? Maybe?
The central stream in the book is the burial of Egyptian Kings . Also it has a very strong relationship to River Nile, which has been flowing like this for millions of years. Much of its water and sediments are obtained from Blue Nile, which itself originates at Lake Tase in the Ethiopian highlands. The other tributary is the White Nile, which originates from the great Lakes of Central Africa in Rwanda/ Burundi. The White Nile passes through Tanzania to Lake Victoria to Uganda to South Sudan and meets Blue Nile near Khartoum (Sudan). The route of Nile river, particularly the Blue Nile is of monumental historical, religious, archaeological and evolutionary significance.
As I have written earlier that the Babylonians migrated into Africa more than half a million years back. They settled on the banks of River Nile. All the Northern Africa area was uninhabited as the Human Africans were concentrated in Central and East Africa. Once the Babylonian Egyptians settled and prospered, they went for expeditions on the River Nile upstream. They reached the Blue Nile/White Nile junction near Khartoum and first expedited into Blue Nile as it was the larger of the two. They went to its origins in the Ethiopian highlands.
The first few of these expeditions would not have resulted in too much exertions onto land but subsequent expeditions would certainly have gone on land. There they discovered the first native Africans -the Human Africans. This was one of the first interspecies interaction on Earth. At that time the Human Africans had no language and communicated with sounds and sights. The Babylonians taught them the basis of language from their Vocabulary. Thus, these Human Africans were the first to learn a language  and speak in Africa. Because the Mouth, Skull and Mental structure of babylonians is markedly developed than Human Africans, so the Human Africans were incapable of producing Babylonian sounds and words and thus in accordance with their mouth, skull and mental capabilities modified the Babylonian vocabulary with their own sounds for the same things. Hence, originated the first African Language, remarkably different from Babylonian but still learned from it.
Egyptian language, which at the time of migration was mainland Babylonian, also evolved with the multiplication of society, its occupations, its needs, its interaction, its climate and host of other factors. The spoken Egyptian remained similar to Core Babylonian but new words, phrases, expressions became modified. It slowly modified into Coptic language which was slowly replaced by Arabic.

Again coming to the story, the setting of the story is unique and awe inspiring. The tomb of the King is not buried in Egypt but in Ethiopia. But, here it is not buried in a Pyramid but in a tomb, which you should read the book to understand the uniqueness and ingenuity of the burial site. This burial site is what leads to more innovations on the part of the archaeologists and more adventure.
The whole story unfolds with the discovery of the Egyptian King in a very unique place, but I felt very bad for the King and his servant Taita who took so much pain to bury the King, only to be found 4000 years later.
In many ways the slave servant to the King, Taita, is the main character in the story. It was his idea to bury the King in such a mysterious way. Again it was his idea to leave clues as to the location of the tomb of the King, to the coming generations.
But, in many ways Taita represented a historical figure in his own right. Taita is described as white with remarkable intelligence. Again he is described as being a eunuch. In those times, the Prisoners of war were made into slaves. Those slaves who were found to be homosexual were emasculated and made into eunuchs. He certainly was a Babylonian prisoner of war captured by the Babylonian Egyptians. During that time, the Babylonian Egyptians fought with the Babylonian Assyrians, Jews and even mainland Babylonians.
But the author also draws parallel and takes inspiration for the character of Taita from the Bible Character Daniel. 
Daniel was also a slave prisoner of war, a Jew, emasculated and made into eunuch by the mainland Babylonians. Daniel in the Bible is also supposed to be very clever person who tells stories to the King and solves riddles for him.
Thus characters like Taita have a historical and religious basis. In fact many parts of the Bible are dedicated to characters like Taita and their praises, so much so the history, contributions, victories of the Kings is overlooked in their favour. I wonder if it is coincidence or design. I think the latter is true.
Though historically characters like Taita have existed, they were intelligent to start with, became prisoners of war and than slaves and when found homosexual, were emasculated and made into eunuchs. (A Choice was given to them between emasculation and death) and were mainly Jews. These Jews though were learned and educated . They became the main scribes, wherever they were present. They wrote their own account of history and religion and Kings of that time. But like Taita they wrote in an oblique and mysterious sort of way.
Just like Taita left clues for the finding of the tomb of the King, after meticulously hiding it. I think that Taita wanted revenge on the King who was responsible for his defeat in war , his enslavement, and his emasculation. So, he left clues so that the later generations may find the clues, go after them and discover the tomb of the King so that the King cannot have peace even in afterlife.
Almost the same thread goes through the stories of eunuchs described in the Bible. Their descriptions and stories are clues to the Kings of their times so that the later generations can unfold them and come to despise the Kings and praise these slaves for their cleverness, which they themselves have described on their own.
In the follow through, the Jews of the later time, past Christ, included these in the Bible, because they themselves looked for revenge on the Kings who defeated them in the past. All such stories must be read with great caution and they certainly are not the truth, but stories of grandeur about themselves, of a few defeated, enslaved and emasculated people. Nothing more Nothing less!
In all the seventh scroll is immensely readable, enjoyable, thoroughly entertaining and most importantly hugely instructive in deciphering similar stories by people similar to Taita in the Bible and deciphering similar historical events in the complex nations called Babylon.
Many things are not exactly the same as they look in Babylon and many things are not the same as they are told in Babylon.

Babylon is an enormously complex Nations and only a Babylonian genius can decipher the mystery from, in and around it!


               ©Tanvir Nebuchadnezar

Monday, 1 October 2018

COMPARING ANTON CHEKHOV WITH WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE


COMPARING ANTON CHEKHOV WITH WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

by Tanvir Nebuchadnezar

Anton Chekhov is a better Writer and author than William Shakespeare and so are Sigmund Freud and Lev Tolstoy.

If you ask somebody to at least name one author, he or she will probably answer William Shakespeare in many cases. If you give choices to recognise an author from given names, William Shakespeare is more likely to be chosen.
William Shakespeare wrote about 500 years back in Britain. He was a Poet, Writer , Playwright writer, and Actor. During his lifetime he was pretty popular in Britain along with 3 or 4 other writers. But his works were not that well acknowledged after his death for the next 300 years. Though, many of his plays were put on stage in Britain and some other parts of the world.
But, with the rise of the British empire, William Shakespeare again rose to colossal heights and has been the most well known author ever since. Mostly it was the influence of British empire on its subjects and the spread of English as a language around the world. The British chose William Shakespeare to hype the most because he was in pretty distant past with some obscure mystery surrounding his life. And he was very good at what he wrote.
If we read most works of William Shakespeare, they are pretty melodramatic and many were to be played on stage. There is a certain loudness about them.
Now, as far as originality of his works is concerned, they were either copies or inspired from or derivatives of greek and Babylonian mythologies and stories, though a few originated in British society as well.
Thus, William Shakespeare wrote poems and used similar lyrical language to write prose for both his dramas and stories. This might be considered a unique way of writing but to the reader who wants to read hardcore prose, it comes as a slight disappointment. The excessive use of the words like Thee, Though etc., which mainly fits religious text also takes some shine off the quality of prose expected either in a drama or story.
I read William Shakespeare during my school days and later as well. It was much later that I read the works of Sigmund Freud, Lev Tolstoy and Anton Chekov.
Recently I read a collection of 100 stories by Anton Chekhov. It sat me thinking and took me back to my school days and I wondered why any of these wonderful stories were not included in the school English curriculum. The answer is obvious. India has been ruled by British for over 150 years and still possesses a British slave mentality. So, if British say that William Shakespeare is the epitome of English literature and literature in all languages overall, Indian English Curriculum will be full of his stories and other British authors.
But, Once I wondered about Anton Chekhov, I drifted back to Sigmund Freud and Lev Tolstoy as well. My mind started comparing Anton Chekov, Lev Tolstoy and Sigmund Freud with William Shakespeare. I found all three authors better writers than William Shakespeare in terms of originality, story, story telling, story composition, sentence construction, paragraph construction and most importantly the overall impression the story leaves on the mind.
The irony of all this is that these three authors never wrote in English. I was reading the English translations of these authors. Sigmund Freud wrote in German, Anton Chekhov and Lev Tolstoy wrote in Russian. I wondered if their English translations could be better than Original English works of William Shakespeare, what exquisite joy will be there to read their works in their original language and manuscript.
Some may wonder what has a scientific author like Sigmund Freud, who almost mostly wrote on Psychology, been included in the comparison. The answer is simple. A writer of nonfiction and scientific works is also a author, tells a nonfiction story, which has a language, a story, story telling, story composition, sentence construction, paragraph construction and has an overall impact on the mind of the reader. Hence I treat, and all should treat non-fiction authors at the same level as fiction authors, if praise of story and story telling is the criteria.
Now, coming to Anton Chekhov, he was a Russian Doctor and writer, between 1860 and 1904. He died at relatively young age of 44 due to Tuberculosis. We might not know how many more great stories he might have written if there was cure for Tuberculosis during his time. 
But, when I say that all three Anton Chekhov, Lev Tolstoy and Sigmund Freud are better writers than William Shakespeare, the most important factor is the “Effective Force” of their stories on your mind as a reader. They are way above others in this department. All three were great psychologists, in fact Sigmund Freud was a scientific genius of psychology and established the modern branch of psychology. They understood the psychology of their readers and the characters in their stories so well and thus their stories have  a terrific impact on the psyche of the readers.
Many critics say that Anton Chekhov wrote about the trivialities of everyday life. I disagree. Anton Chekhov wrote about the dark side of the human mind. He wrote about the dark side of human psychology. That is why he had to use very common characters and social situations. Because these are the people in which and the circumstance in which, you can find dark psychology most well developed and it was easy for Anton Chekhov to explain and write his stories using these characters.
That is why even a one page story like “ In the Graveyard”, jolts you to the core and you start wondering at life and death and what it can throw at you.
I remember that one of his stories “ The Bet” was shown as a serial episode on Television. I don’t remember if any credit was given to Anton Chekhov from which it was translated into Hindi. It had quite an impact on me even at that time.
Now, when I read the story “The Bet”, some more thoughts came to my mind.  Why did the Better, after spending nearly 15 years walked away before completion and getting his due of 2 million roubles. You wondered if he got wise with age and all the reading and writing during this time.  But I think the true reason is that at near 15 years he realised that he had wasted the best years of his life, the part of life which is the most joyous, most happy , most pleasurable, most memorable and the most sensuous part of life, locked in a room for a bundle on money. This realisation was enough and he walked off to escape and get a few hours of precious time that was still left of the bet. In the end he realised that even a few hours of freedom and youth is more precious than bundles of money which cannot buy any of these things back. This is the essence of the story and that is why it is so hard hitting.
“ Kings never bet
   Wise almost never bet
   Common people sometimes bet
    fools bet at every opportunity
    and bloody fools die betting”
In the end, the paying better who was to offer money, kept on betting in other ways and lost all his money and wouldn’t have been able to pay the youth better, who became an old man during the course of the bet. 
Again in “ Ward no. 6”, in which the treating Doctor is himself confined to the asylum for taking humane and doctoral interest in one of the patients is a  deep dissection of the human mind. Anton Chekhov tells through this story that what is normal behaviour and what is normal behaviour is not objective and is subject to human prejudices, judgement and errors. 
A conclusion I drew from this story is that instead of focussing on what is normal behaviour and what is abnormal or psychiatric behaviour, we must focus more on whether a certain behaviour is harmful to other persons and society or not.
This story also leaves a deep impression on your mind and you wonder whether you should help others or keep yourself safe. It is a moral dilemma.
Than there are many stories in which Anton Chekhov has explored the dark side of female-male relationships like “Love”, “A Transgression”, “The Lottery Ticket”, “ The Trousseau”, “ The Cook’s Wedding”, “ Ariadne’, “ About Love’, “The lady with the Dog”, “ An Inquiry”, “ The Head of the Family”, “A Joke”, “ Betrothed”, “A Blunder”, “Anyuta”,, “The Looking Glass”, “Polinka”, “Neighbours”, “A Story without an End’.
Some of these stories are about Adultery, some about lost love and some about finding love but all explore the mind of females and males as lovers who want to love each other but there are social problems and many mental blocks. Some are able to overcome them and find love and some are unable to find a path which leads to their misery and unhappiness.
Through these stories Anton Chekhov reminds the readers the dark side of both female and male sexuality and what female and male expect of each other when they are courting each other or when they are in a marriage.
Than there is the story of a “The First Class Passenger”, in which two persons are travelling in a first class compartment of a train. They start a general discussion about fame and what does being famous constitutes.
One of the Passengers explains that he had built two dozen bridges in Russia, laid aqueducts, is an author of several treatises and his work is in the foreign manuals of chemistry and yet he sadly remarks that hardly anybody knows him 
Than he goes on to tell a story about his friendship with an actress. People knew the name of actress’s friend but still could not recognise him. In one ceremony of the inauguration of a bridge, he had engineered, he was standing there and hoping for appreciation for his work from the public but nobody took notice of him. When his actress friend arrived late, everybody looked at her and started discussing her. The Engineer asked the person standing next to him, who she was, he answered so and so. Than he asked who his current boyfriend was, to which he replied an engineer named Krikunov. But he still could not recognise the Engineer Krikunov who was asking all these questions.
The above story about fame leaves you perplexed and sad and challenged at the same time. If all you require to be famous is being beautiful than all the beautiful creations of the beautiful minds of brilliant scientists seem worthless.
Even in daily life we see that most famous are people seen on Television and Movies. May be a brilliant mind does not communicate enough and a picture (Television, Movies) is able to fill the gap more effectively.
In the end one feels that fame alone cannot be and should not be the only criteria to measure one’s or other’s success. If one has led a satisfactory life and has been able to achieve and do what one’s own judgement is of one’s best capacity, I think that is  the most satisfying feeling and should give happiness and joy to oneself. Any amount of fame is never enough but achievements can be satisfactory and happy.
Anton Chekhov has also explored the dark side of religion and Spirituality in stories like “The Murder”, “The Shoemaker and the Devil”, “A Slander”, “ The Black Monk”, “The Orator”, “The Requiem’.
It is not that Anton Chekhov is critical of religion but he explores and says in his stories what many authors dare not do. He shows that people do use religion and spiritual beliefs for their own glorification and benefit and in no way benefits the society. In this way Anton Chekhov warns people and society to be vigilant against such kind of people, to protect themselves and others in the society. In this way his stories are educational and instructive.
Than there are stories of extreme poverty and misery and sorrow like “Oysters”, “Misery”, “Sorrow”, in which Anton Chekhov explores the poverty and misery present in the society. He also shows how other people can be so regardless of people in such conditions. In this way, he is suggesting that a better way ought to be developed in a civilised society in which people with extreme poverty or misery can be helped within the society. In fact, it is one of the purposes of civilised society.
Than Anton Chekhov writes many stories about everyday happenings which may seem trivial in themselves but collected over a period of a lifetime, define your life and determines your past, present and future.
Overall I found the Anton Chekhov stories extremely well written and constructed. They are a joy to read and than savour and than think about them for a long time after reading them. Such is the beauty of his stories and story telling.
But to enjoy the most out of Anton Chekhov stories, there is a certain way you should go about reading them. Read the story slowly and after finishing one story, give a 5 to 10 minutes to think about it. This is the period when you will enjoy the story the most.
Also do not read too many stories in one sitting, even with gaps. Just read 2 to 4 stories with gap in one sitting and 5 to 7 stories a day at most. 
This way you will be able to enjoy and derive the most out of these brilliant stories written by a great writer and author Anton Chekhov.
Copyright © TANVIR NEBUCHADNEZAR
All  Rights TANVIR NEBUCHADNEZAR 

ANNA KARENINA by LEV TOLSTOY

    ANNA KARENINA BY LEV TOLSTOY

Anybody can say that “Anna Karenina” by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy is a great novel. Because the world knows it and lot of important people have praised it for over a century. 

Anna Karenina is the character in the book, whose life in happiness, whose life in family, whose life as wife, whose life as relation to several families, whose life as a infidel  lover, whose life as a mother and much more is the central pivot of the book. But in spite of the title is only a part of the book to convey the thoughts of the author. In this sense it is a philosophical book.It also depicts the social life of Russia during the time of the writing. Thus it is a social book.

It describes the psychology of characters it portrays. Thus it is a psychology book.

But the question that comes to mind is that how Lev Tolstoy managed to achieve so much in one book.

I think that though many experts and critics of literature have appreciated “Anna Karenina” as a novel and a literary work of beauty but nobody has been able to explain the multi book nature of the novel. Nearly 138 years have passed since the writing of this great book but none has been able to explain the soul of it, which is what makes it readable and likeable book for so long and its very likely to be readable and likeable for a long time to come.

I think the basic mistake which most critics and readers make in analysing “Anna Karenina” is that they view it as a work of fiction, with much of the characterisation taken from the contemporary Russia of that time. But this analysis is only partly true.

Lev Tolstoy was a foremost observer and intellectual of his time. He observed everything around him in minute details, understood the meaning of each minute event, learned of the relationship between events and thus solved this puzzle in his mind. When he solved the puzzle, he got exactly the right picture of what was happening around him, without any bias or his involvement in it. He involves himself only in the observation and not in the events themselves.

But Lev Tolstoy does not end at solving the observation puzzle. Out of the numerous people he observes in the puzzle, he sketches an average of each person type and keeps it in his mind.

It is these average sketch persons from his mind, obtained by observation and solving the observation puzzle, that he utilises in sketching the various characters of his novel, particularly in this book “Anna Karenina”. This unique method of Lev Tolstoy give ‘Anna Karenina’ the realistic and soul stirring feel that most readers will get while reading and after finishing reading the book. In this way “Anna Karenina” is a great social book.

But characterising average sketch persons only cannot give life to a book. Because each person is imbued with a certain psychology and behavioural characteristics.

Thus, Lev Tolstoy observed the psychology and behaviour of various people around him. On the basis of those psychological observations, he developed his own unique psychology study of the society he was living in. It is this psychological insight and depth which he imparts to his characters in the book.

Thus, “Anna Karenina” becomes a psychology book. Just because the names of characters are fictitious and events are described as fiction should not take anything away from the study of psychology and public relations in this book. In this way “Anna Karenina” is a great psychology book.

I will go on to say that the depth and study of psychology by Lev Tolstoy is so profound and expert, that this book ranks among the great psychology books of the world. He can be compared with Sigmund Freud. Both were contemporaries. Only difference between the two is that while Sigmund Freud wrote psychology strictly in terms of scientific terms and principles, Lev Tolstoy employs his own psychological principles and describes them in terms of his characters and events in the book.

Thus an astute psychologist will find lots of psychological principles and psychological knowledge to gain from “Anna Karenina”, like reading one of Sigmund Freud’s great psychology works. Only one has to have the right observation, analytical and timing sense to decipher and de-encrypt the psychology principles and psychology which Lev Tolstoy has so beautifully embedded in his great work “Anna Karenina”.

But psychology cannot be completely separated from philosophy. Thus we find that at various places in the book, Lev Tolstoy uses the psychological profile of the characters to state his important psychology and philosophy principles and markers. This I believe is partly philosophy originating in the mind of the author and partly a result of psychological profiling of the characters. Thus “Anna Karenina” has philosophy attributed to its various characters and this is beautifully done like the intricacies in a Persian carpet.

But we cannot neglect the pivot of the book which is Anna Karenina. Some extremely important characteristics of her show out and these are important if we are to understand her world fully.

Anna Karenina is married. Anna Karenina is very beautiful. Anna Karenina has a very desirable body and figure. Anna Karenina has a great dressing sense. Anna Karenina is very friendly and helpful by nature. Anna Karenina is inwardly  very religious and a woman of high morals. Anna Karenina is very adroit and tactful in her social dealings. Anna Karenina is a very family person and loves her family. Anna Karenina is a mother and loves her son. Anna Karenina has everything in her as a woman which a man desires. Ana Karenina is a wife to a husband she really does not love but is oblged to love and show affection.

Now, if we understand the above characterisation of Anna Karenina, it becomes easy for us to decipher her mind and understand what happens to her in the book.

A simple thing to understand is that beauty is desirable to both men and women. Both man and woman want to have a female-male sexual copulation partner who is beautiful in accordance with the phantasy image of it in their minds. The closer a person is to this image, faster they fall in love with it and remain so if reciprocated.

 Now, if we look at Karenin who was the husband of Anna Karenina, he was below average in looks, not very sporting, nor romantic and was the exact opposite of the phantasy image, Anna Karenina had in her mind. She could and never would fall in love with him. However, on the other hand he was rich, well connected, good background and could provide all the commercial luxurious needed by Anna Karenina in her life. He loved her in his own way.

Also we must appreciate that Anna Karenina fitted the female-male sexual copulation phantasy image in Karenin’s mind perfectly. This was because Anna Karenina had qualities which would have satisfied the phantasy image of a female-male sexual copulation partner in most males.

Thus, the Anna Karenina/ Karenin relationship was one sided and doomed to failure from the beginning.

When a woman with qualities like Anna Karenina is caged in a unworthy marriage like she was, she will look satisfied from outside because of the luxuries she has and the lavish life she leads but inwardly she is always unhappy and unsatisfied. In part of her mind and heart, she is always looking for a female-male sexual copulation partner of her phantasies.

But she was married and had a 8 year old son and had a powerful, politically well connected husband. Few men, even if Anna Karenina satisfies their female-male sexual copulation partner phantasies would venture or dare to court her in such circumstances. Thus, for a caged Anna Karenina chances were very limited.

Even as Anna Karenina is in this turmoil, she meets a man Vronsky, who though does not fits her phantasy image of female-male sexual copulation partner completely but does so to some extent. But, most importantly he shows himself available and interested in her. Self analysing her limited chances and possibilities, Anna Karenina falls in love with him to gain inner happiness.

The relationship is catapulted by Vronsky principles in life: “One must be sure to pay a card-sharp but need not pay the tailor; one must not lie to men but may lie to women; one must not deceive others but may deceive a husband; one must never forgive an insult but one may deliver an insult”

A person holding such views is easy to approach and get. Anna Karenina calculated this in their meetings and partly fell in love with him. She never loved him completely because of his principles and because he never satisfied her phantasy image of a female-male sexual copulation partner completely.

This was the dilemma that caught Anna Karenina and tore her apart from within.

Though pivotal to the book, Anna Karenina is not the only character through which Lev Tolstoy exercises his mastery of psychology, social relationships and female-male sexual relations.

There are other characters like Kitty, Dolly, Levin and many more which are interwoven to convey the psychological, sexual, social and philosophical studies of Lev Tolstoy.

Through Levin, Lev Tolstoy tries to introduce farm labour reforms and suggest alternative mechanisms by which lives of people working in agriculture can be improved. It is through Levin that Lev Tolstoy stresses the importance of farm and agriculture to the society and country.

He also stresses that Russia is a great and huge country with people migrating to it in small amounts (basically Russians are babylonians who migrated into Russia between 200,000 and 400,000 years ago) and thus agriculture methods suitable to Russia and its population and land will be different from countries where availability of land is less.

This way “Anna Karenina” becomes a migration-demographic book with agriculture management tools embedded in it.

But all in all, it clearly, precisely, succinctly describes Russia and its society through its characters.

This is the greatest worth of the book and its a lovely, moving, sometimes melancholy read, which one savours page by page!

All Rights Tanvir Nebuchadnezar

COPYRIGHT   TANVIR NEBUCHADNEZAR
 

JOKES AND THEIR RELATION TO THE UNCONSCIOUS

BOOK REVIEW: JOKES AND THEIR RELATION TO THE UNCONSCIOUS

Full Book Title: Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious

Author:  Sigmund Freud

ISBN 13: 978-0393001457

ISBN 10: 0393001458

From childhood, I noticed in myself the uncanny ability to find humour in the most severe of conditions. Generally, it helped me overcome the situation and allowed me to remain calm and composed in these trying situations, where most would be rattled. Obviously, this is the most important part humour has played in my life. Than I came across Sir Sigmund Freud’s books on psychology and I have read most of them. But purposely I didn’t read and didn’t pay too much attention to Sigmund Freud’s “Jokes and their relation to the unconscious”, which was lying in my books of collection.

The reason I gave myself for not reading the book was that I had convinced myself that a psychological study of jokes would destroy the humor in me and my capacity to enjoy it in all sorts of situations.

Nevertheless, recently I made it upon myself to read “Jokes and their relation to the unconscious”. After reading the book, and contrary to my earlier held view, I found the book very educative and instructive. I also found and juxtaposed the learning on other people, that the reading of the book in fact has enhanced my capacity to understand jokes and enjoy them better.

I advise others to emulate my example and read this excellent book on the techniques of jokes, how jokes are formulated, and what is there in a joke, which makes us laugh.

Reading the book will immensely increase your understanding of jokes and humor. You will gain much more than me simply because I started with my own researched knowledge and wisdom. You might not possess it and might be starting from ground zero and hence in my view you will gain a lot more by reading this book.

Though humor and Jokes are nothing new and have been present with us since the advent of civilization, nearly 40 to 50 million years to be precise in case of Mesopotamian culture and civilization. Both myself and  Sigmund Freud belong to Mesopotamian culture and civilisation  We belong to Mesopotamian culture and civilization.

But not many people have tried to analyze humour and jokes in an analytic and scientific way, as has been done by  Sigmund Freud.

He has deciphered the coding in jokes. He has solved a puzzle, which has remained unsolved for centuries. And for this he deserves full credit and our profoundest thanks.

But thanking is the least of my worries, my worry is that this profound work by Sigmund Freud has largely been neglected and has not got its due that it deserves.

Now,  Sigmund Freud is not going to personally benefit from our thanks but reading this fine and excellent work on jokes is certainly going to make our life easier. We might discover paths of humor, which were hitherto unseen, and some of you might even conceive a masterpiece of a joke.

Though  Sigmund Freud has taken many examples as jokes but they pertain to his times and most of you are unaware and uninformed of the their circumstances and situations to fully appreciate them. Therefore, I am not reproducing any of his jokes but I am giving a joke, which has its roots in the political culture of India and is very funny.


The Joke goes like this:

“ Queen of England was having her birthday.

 This joke is a unique joke and will possibly be needing several techniques as given by  Sigmund Freud in “Jokes and their relation to the Unconscious” to explain its humor.

But I will just encapsulate in headings, the main techniques given by  Sigmund Freud in the book. You can try to fix one or more of these techniques to explain the humor in the above joke.

“1.Condensation

(a)        with formation of composite word,

(b)        with modification

II Multiple use of the same material

(c)         as a whole and in parts,

(d)        in a different order

(e)        with slight modification

(f)          of the same words full and empty

III Double meaning

(g)        meaning as a name and as a thing

(h)        metaphorical and literal meaning

(i)          double meaning proper (play upon words)

(j)          double antendre

(k)        double meaning with a allusion

                                                                                     “

You can pick your choosing and try to explain the joke. I have already given my explanation. But more fruitful will be if you read the book and come to this joke again to explain it.

But the brilliance of  Sigmund Freud’s book does not solely lie in giving techniques of the joke.

He also goes on to give the relationship of the joke to the subconscious. This is absolutely brilliant stuff. You have to read, understand and grasp it to appreciate the brilliant mind that lies behind the relationship.

 Sigmund Freud has also given that jokes in many cases may be the result of neurosis. But they can germinate in a normal mind as well. But it may be that a normal mind from time to time suffers from neurosis or at least episodes of them. It may be during this time that the subconscious thought processes are brought to the fore in the form of jokes.

Be the jokes to be product of neurosis or episodes of neurosis in a normal mind, we can derive some sort of knowledge about the subconscious mind of the producer of the joke.

But I will go on to add that we can derive some important information about the state of mind of the listeners by studying the effect of joke on such a person.

Thus, to consider jokes or humor as trivial is a big mistake. Joke and humor are very serious business, at least for the subconscious mind.

Have a nice day!

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